Showing posts with label Video Premiere. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Video Premiere. Show all posts

Sep 18, 2020

Video Premiere: Jonathan Tyler’s “Hey Old Friend”



By Kevin Broughton

Jonathan Tyler has written the song that 2020 needs. “I wrote ‘Hey Old Friend’ before Corona and the shutdowns were ever a thought, yet it weirdly fits this new normal,” he says. “It’s the first track of mine that I’ve engineered and recorded that’s ever gone this public.”

Shot in and around iconic Sam’s Town Point in South Austin, the chorus line “Someday these days will be worth remembering” is from a sign inside the bar. Tyler is joined on harmony vocals by Nikki Lane, his “partner in crime, girlfriend, pal, something else, and friend.  I love and respect her very much and I'm a lucky guy for having her in my life.”

The easy, comfortable song is emblematic of a certain kind of friend: “The kind of person you can always pick up right where you left off.  The one that might also pick you up from jail or help you fix the broken AC in your car in the middle of a Texas summer,” Tyler says.  “It could be years or since early March 2020.  Eventually we all want to hear that story or song we've heard a thousand times before and taken for granted.”

He adds, “It’s probably the most country-sounding thing I’ve ever done.”

And not a moment too soon. It’s a song worthy of Lyle Lovett. Give it a spin.

Sep 2, 2020

Exclusive Video/Single Premiere / Joe Stamm Band / "Bottle You Up"

Photo by Elise Kingland

We’ve got a video premiere for you from countrified roots rockers The Joe Stamm Band today. Joe’s rich, character-filled voice is the centerpiece of the band's new single “Bottle You Up,” a love song from the heart. It’s a commercially accessible sound without kowtowing to the trends of the day, instead keeping it real with an in-the-pocket rock ’n roll band playing the hell out of this catchy country rocker. RIYL: Chris Stapleton, Whitey Morgan, Cody Jinks, The Steel Woods. 

Joe on “Bottle You Up” -
"There’s been a grand total of two times that I’ve done one of them, “I just wrote this song and now I’m posting a video of me playing it to Facebook” type of things. One of those times was just yesterday (as I’m writing this up). The only other time was a couple years ago and the song was 'Bottle You Up.'

I’d just got home from a Sunday afternoon gig, and I sat down at my kitchen table with a little glass my mom had recently purchased for me. It said, “Apple of My Eye” on the side of it. I started pouring Busch Light down into it. Then emptying it. Repeat. Pretty soon I was writing a song and about 25 minutes later, I had “Bottle You Up” down on paper.

All them beers convinced me I should take the song straight to social media. So I did, and pretty soon folks were requesting “Bottle You Up” at shows. It didn’t take long to realize we were going to have to cut it on our next record.

While you can still find that old acoustic performance on YouTube, we did decide to go down to Nashville and have our buddies at Midtown Motion put a bonafide music video together for the song. We’re pretty happy about the results. Though I’m not sure the feller in the video was by the song’s end…"

More information about the Joe Stamm Band and their upcoming album below the player.


Joe Stamm Band - The Good & The Crooked (& The High & The Horny)

The Joe Stamm Band makes countrified roots-rock with an emphasis on the roots, drawing on Stamm's small-town upbringing in rural Illinois for a sound that blends heartland hooks with Nashville twang. It's a sound that's taken the songwriter from the college apartment where he strummed his first chords to venues beyond the Midwest, sharing shows with personal heroes like Kris Kristofferson and Chris Knight along the way. With his debut studio LP, The Good & The Crooked (& The High & The Horny), Stamm begins building his own legacy, leading his band of road warriors through an album rooted in all-American storytelling and guitar-driven swagger.

Recorded in a converted barn outside of Iowa City, The Good & The Crooked (& The High & The Horny) is a studio album that owes its electrified energy to Stamm's live show. It was there — onstage, guitar in hand, headlining a club in Peoria one night and playing with artists like Tyler Childers and Easton Corbin the next — that Stamm sharpened the edges of his self-described "black dirt music," rolling Americana, country, and blue-collar rock & roll influences into his own style. Some songs were autobiographical, spinning true-life stories of love, loss, and life in Middle America. Others, like the barn-burning "12 Gauge Storyline," were character-driven and fictional. Whittled into sharp shape by a touring schedule that kept Stamm and company on the road for as many as 150 days a year, those songs took new shape in the recording studio, shot through with amplified riffs, grooves, and arrangements that rolled just as hard as they rocked. 

Fiction and autobiography come together on the album's title track, a coming-of-age anthem that finds Stamm writing about the humor, heartache, charm, and chaos of youth in America. 

"Everyone falls into at least one — and usually several — of those categories," he says of "The Good & The Crooked (& The High & The Horny)." "That song really captured a sense of things, a sense of people, and a sense of what it's like to grow up in America."

For Stamm, growing up in America involved a good amount of time on the football field. A teenage quarterback in a sports-obsessed town, he led his high school team to back-to-back state appearances, becoming a local celebrity along the way. When an injury brought his sports career to an end during his college years, though, Stamm found a new passion in music, diving into the work not only of classic country crooners like George Jones and Johnny Cash, but also the modern-day heavyweights of Texas' country scene, including Randy Rogers Band, Pat Green, and Reckless Kelly. Before long, he was writing his own songs — and just like his favorite Texas artists, he rooted his music in a strong sense of place, bringing a midwestern spirit to his own brand of country music. Stamm was soon packing venues across central Illinois, trading the athletic fame of his teenage years for an equally rewarding — and longer lasting — brand of recognition.

"I like writing about characters and coming up with stories," says Stamm, whose diverse past — including his time in an evangelical Christian household, his athletic days behind the line of scrimmage, and his creative rebirth as country music's newest rule-breaker — is woven throughout The Good & The Crooked (& The High & The Horny), lending personal details to even the most fictional of songs. "Songwriting is where experience and imagination meet," he adds, "and each song finds a different spot on that spectrum."

With The Good & The Crooked (& The High & The Horny), the spectrum is as wide as it is compelling, with Stamm roping together a range of honky-tonk hooks, rock & roll guitars, heartland twang, and country swagger. He's a songwriter. A bandleader. A storyteller. And while he'll always be a proud midwestern native — a man shaped by the creek bottoms, fields, and fence rows of Metamora, Illinois — he writes from a more universal perspective on his full-length studio debut. These aren't just his stories, after all. They're all of ours. 

Joe Stamm Band's The Good & the Crooked (& The High & the Horny) is due out September 25.

PRE-ORDER:

Aug 4, 2020

Exclusive Video Premiere / Golden Shoals / “Everybody’s Singing”


We’ve got a new performance video premiere today from Golden Shoals. It’s an upbeat singalong tune sure to give you a pick-me-up during “these uncertain times.” “Everybody’s Singing” includes heartbreak (yes songs can have that and still be uplifting), great references to classic songs, fiddling, and fun… what’s not to love? It’s the first song off of their upcoming album (out Friday!) and a great introduction to this talented duo if you haven’t heard their first two releases.

From the band:
This song celebrates and rolls eyes at the wacky people and places we encounter as touring folk musicians - friends and contemporaries in cowboys costumes, white jumpsuits, and punk rock mullets; house parties, hotel conferences, and bluegrass bands playing ‘80’s songs.  The chorus ties it all together with a collage of lines from well-worn folk and country songs you hear time and time again in this line of work.  We gave this one a countrified production treatment, and I had a ton of fun playing faux-tele licks on a Gibson SG.

More information about the band and their forthcoming album below the video!


The road to Golden Shoals has been a long, fruitful journey for Amy Alvey and Mark Kilianski. The duo has toured on foot—gig to gig with backpacks and instrument cases—for weeks at a time; called Asheville, Boston, California, and New Jersey home; and lived in various moving vehicles on the road for the past seven years under different names and incarnations. After all of that, their new self-titled record, Golden Shoals , represents a fresh start for Alvey and Kilianski; one that is more inclusive of the inspirations they’ve taken in since beginning their musical journey. Out August 7th via Free Dirt Records Golden Shoals contains twelve new songs which examine love and loss, personal growth, and political strife; all through an inward-facing lens and void of pretense or preachiness. Today, American Songwriter premiered “Love From Across The Border,” a rollicking, slide-guitar laden ode to empathy and righting the wrongs of the past. "Love From Across The Border” can be heard here and Golden Shoals can be pre-ordered here until its August 7th release. 

Engineered and mixed by Matt Lohan and produced by Lohan, Alvey, and Kilianski, Golden Shoals features only one additional musician; Landon George’s upright bass and drums. Together, the aforementioned musicians wove a bright and intricate tapestry from only four threads. Golden Shoals opens with “Everybody’s Singing,” a straightforward country swing tune about some not so straightforward personalities. Alvey and Kilianski proclaim the song “celebrates and rolls eyes at the wacky people and places we encounter as touring folk musicians—friends and contemporaries in cowboys costumes, white jumpsuits, and punk rock mullets; house parties, hotel conferences, and bluegrass bands playing ‘80’s songs.” 

The album ebbs and flows from the joyfully ironic opening track all the way to more emotional and understated tunes like “I’ll Fall In Love Again”; a gentle lament about wanting to be more than friends, to no avail. “Rather than cutting off our friendship, we worked through those difficult feelings, became better friends for it, and I moved on to new loves,” says Kilianski. “A couple of years after its inception, the song adopted a twist ending, turning the cliche country song trope of unrequited love on its head.” The album closes with “Sittin’ Pretty,” an incredibly self-aware take on the guilt and anxiety that bubble up when coming to grips with one’s born-with-it privilege. “The song ‘Sittin’ Pretty’ speaks to the powerlessness I feel when reading the news about the troubling issues in our society like wealth inequality, climate change, and school shootings,” says Alvey. “When touring full time, the thought of joining a protest march or becoming active in local politics feels impossible when most days you’re figuring out where you’re going to sleep that night after the show.”

The clever touch Golden Shoals leave on their songs is what sticks with listeners; a twist at the end, a smart rehashing of radio-hit lyrics, the upbeat but heavy introspective looks into the mirror. Their musical journey seems to have hit its stride, especially as Alvey and Kilianski dig in, unpack, and reevaluate their own stories, observations, trials, and successes. Their compassionate and thoughtful songwriting takes center stage in this new chapter of the band, while their undeniable musicianship continues to uplift and inspire the project. For this patient, tenacious band, the Shoals are indeed Golden, and ripe for more great music to come.

Jul 30, 2020

Exclusive Video Premiere / Skylar Gregg / “Have You Ever Tried to Lose Your Mind”

Photo by Alaina Broyles

From her forthcoming album, Roses. Gregg, on the intensely personal nature of this poignant song:

All of my grandparents died of dementia and Alzheimer’s. I remember thinking when I was young it would be an easy way to go, to just slowly forget. After I met my husband, I realized that would not be the case. That it may be the hardest. Mando Saenz and I wrote "Have You Ever Tried to Lose Your Mind" about remembering to hang on to every moment as hard as you can because you may not get to keep all the memories. Corey Pitts really brought the song to life in this video. Even in a socially distanced environment and a one person cast with very little experience in front of the camera (me) he was able to dig into the meaning of this unusual love song and I think it turned out beautifully.

FTM readers get an exclusive look at the video today. Tomorrow, she’ll take over the “Women of Americana” Instagram account, which you can check out here. 

Roses will be released on Friday, August 14.  On Monday, August 10, we’ll post our in-depth interview with this talented singer-songwriter.

More information about Skylar below!


Skylar Gregg engages in a gripping cocktail of hard work, humor, and self-discovery, expressing vivid lyrical imagery and raw grit that soaks into every note of her songwriting. The Nashville native musician translates that into a mixed bag of retro southern music immersed in old soul, 60’s and 70’s country and blues. 
Gregg’s sound stems from being raised around musicians. Her family moved to Nashville to pursue music careers - her dad as a songwriter and her mom as a piano major at Belmont University. Their influence led to Gregg performing at the age of 6. During her early college years she joined her first real band. In 2013, she started pursuing her own path as a songwriter, which included the release of two records, Walkin’ in The Woods (2015) and Time Machine (2018). Both were self-produced and recorded with her husband, Taylor Lonardo, in their home studio. On her upcoming record, Roses, she elevates her homegrown roots by enlisting producer Jon Estes, whose contributions on stage and in the studio have included John Paul White, Steelism, Robyn Hitchcock, Langhorne Slim, and Andrew Leahey.
Exuding a Muscle Shoals meets Nashville vibe, the upcoming album compiles stories spanning Gregg’s life over the past decade. Gregg says, “I think I have spent the past ten years learning who I am. And by proxy who my artist is. And that discovery has been my biggest life lesson. This record is the realest I have ever been.” 
Some of the songs were written at the start of the ten-year journey and some were written in the studio as late as 2019. When songs take a multi-year journey, it’s inevitable that growth will follow: both in the songwriting and the subject matter itself.  The first single, “Long Way Back,” which is also the oldest on the record captures a snapshot in time - a plea from Gregg for her brother to find himself. 
And then there are songs like “Landfill” which almost grow with her. A song inspired by driving past a landfill, the song serves as a reminder to recycle, and about how much garbage we make as humans, both literally and metaphorically. Two years ago Gregg started therapy which led her to know what the song was really supposed to be about. She says, “As southern people, or maybe just people, in general, we tend to really pack our troubles down and keep marching on. I thought that was a sign of strength. But in reality, it was making me weak. I had become a giant pile of trash. I was indeed a Landfill.”
Songs written in the middle of this ten-year stretch revolve around themes of addiction, mortality, and abuse. A folkloric tale co-written by Alexis Thompson about “The Bell Witch” explores the story of a witch that lives in a cave in Adams, TN on a property that once belonged to John Adams. The story goes that Adams’ family would show up in town and have bruises and cuts all over them. And John would say “ We have a witch in our house!”. Thompson and Gregg revisited the story giving it a Jordan Peele type twist where John was actually the assaulter. 
 The final song in the chronology, “Everythings Gonna Be Fine” showcases Gregg’s more peaceful state of mind. A song she wrote in the studio, it’s a reminder to chill out and to not worry so much. 
Gregg’s evolution as a songwriter expresses itself in an interesting dichotomy. She says, “It is interesting looking at these songs compiled together in a timeline. My own writing seems to get increasingly more complicated and then simple again. Maybe that is something I have learned about music over the last decade. Complicated isn’t always better. Sometimes a simple message can really resonate.” 

Jul 21, 2020

Video Premiere / Market Junction / "Western Coast"

Photo by Jason Allison
Today we’ve got a video premiere from the Texas band Market Junction. Perhaps you’ve heard of them. They’ve opened for Jack Ingram, Flatland Cavalry, Ray Wylie and more. They’re big in their home state, and soon, hopefully, they’ll be big everywhere with the release of their new album Burning Bridges on August 7th.  Market Junction plays smooth, thoughtful country folk that’s sure to appeal to fans of John Baumann, Adam Hood, and Jason Eady. The performance video we’re premiering is for the song “Western Coast,” a wistful tune with beautiful, understated harmonies and a pointed loneliness that saves its sharpest arrows for the final lines. 

Market Junction released the single “A Stone Will Sink” this past Friday. More information below the video!


Market Junction’s Matt Parrish on the song:
"You can change the scene, chase a dream, leave your hometown, put a couple thousand miles on your old truck, and even put down new roots...but you can’t outrun a heartache.  Even a prizefighter runs out of gas in the later rounds. Old habits are hard to break, so just plan on waiting them out. 

This song was started at a writing session for an artist named Cory Morrow. Justin and I were at his place near Austin, Texas, helping him with songs for his new project when we stumbled upon the guitar intro and idea. It took a solid year to finish this song, but it’s become one of our favorites on the record." 



Market Junction. Not a place as the name implies but rather the name of a band that has engaged fans with their songs of love and loss since 2012 when they released their freshman effort, Heroes Have Gravestones.

In 2011, Matt Parrish gifted friend and fellow songcrafter Justin Lofton a vinyl pressing of Ray LaMontagne’s God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise for his birthday and the fires of inspiration were ignited. The pair set out on a journey to create the kind of music they not only loved to listen to but music that they loved to play. Since those early days, the band soon expanded its lineup to include Taylor Hilyard on bass guitar and Michael Blattel on drums, sharing stages with Cory Morrow, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Jack Ingram, Radney Foster and more.

“We’ve done nothing the conventional way”, says Parrish.  “It’s taken us nine years to figure out who we are and what direction we want to take our careers,” adds Lofton.  The combination of lyrical prowess and Lofton’s fretboard mastery has resulted in a sound that is rooted in place and time, but that transcends both. While the band has found success in their beloved home state of Texas, they are ready to show the rest of the world what they can do. The wait will have been well worth it for Americana music fans across the country - Market Junction will release their latest LP, Burning Bridges, on August 7, 2020. This collection of songs tells one story, one of a young man learning about love and its consequences. Sometimes the heartbreak spurs the traveling, and other times the traveling is the cause of the heartbreak.  Either way, Burning Bridges will break your heart in the best kind of way, and have you reaching for the keys.

Mar 20, 2020

Exclusive Video Premiere / Andy Brasher / “Drugs in the Tip Jar”

Photo by Kenny King

Today we have a video premiere from Kentuckian Andy Brasher for the song “Drugs in the Tip Jar.” It’s a tune from his debut album Myna Bird, out April 3. “Drugs in the Tip Jar” is a driving country rocker that takes a peek into the life of a touring musician, many of whom would kill for a tip jar at this moment. The song is catchy and real, with strong vocals and a healthy dose of humor and easy-going heartland rocking. Highly recommended to fans of John Mellencamp, Chris Knight, Steve Earle, and Cody Jinks.

From Andy:
This is a true story from my time in Nashville. I lived there in the early 2000's. When I first moved there, I was working on songwriting primarily. I focused on getting co-writes and playing open mic nights at the Bluebird and Douglas Corner Cafe, among others. I wanted to get a publishing deal. I roomed with a couple of friends in a small apartment, but, I still had to pay my part of the rent, so I'd gig as often as I could. Broadway wasn't really my thing (although I played plenty of those shows if I had to)...I'd try my best to play little neighborhood bars around Nashville.

One such place wasn't far from my apartment, so I ended up there a lot. I was glad to have a gig so close to home, but let's just say...I lived in kind of a "sketchy" neighborhood.
After my first gig at this place, I checked the tip jar and was pretty surprised. Yeah, I had a few dollar bills, a good tip or two...but I also had a little street drug store hanging out in the very bottom. You name it..."go fast", "go slow", pills, a joint...and this kept happening at that place! It led me to wonder, 'What makes them think I want this? Is it me? Is it them? Do I want this?'. Aside from encouraging me to take a little self-inventory, I thought it also warranted a song.

More about Andy under the video!


Andy Brasher - Myna Bird
Kentucky's Andy Brasher brings fresh energy to the Americana music scene through his vivid storytelling, soulfully captivating vocals and mastery of his instrument -- all of which are on full display with his stunning debut solo release, Myna Bird.
Having already headlined shows across the U.S. and internationally, Brasher’s previous band Brasher/Bogue has also shared the marquee with Tim McGraw, Kid Rock, Kenny Chesney, Hank Williams Jr., Charlie Daniels, Blackberry Smoke and many more over the course of their tenure. 
Produced by Harry Lee Smith (Restless Heart, Angeleena Presley, Martina McBride) and multi-Grammy award winner Ross Hogarth (Keb’ Mo’, Shawn Colvin, REM, John Mellencamp) at Nashville’s renowned Blackbird Studios, Myna Bird is equal parts modern Americana and stone-cold country, laden with folk philosophy and clever turns of phrase. Smith & Hogarth’s expert production flourishes are apparent throughout, from the warmth of the acoustic guitars, radio-ready electric guitar tones and licks, the crack of each snare hit, to Brasher’s singular vocals nestled neatly on top of each track. 
Opener “21” sets the tone for the record with soaring, reverb-tinged electric guitars layered with urgently-strummed acoustic instrumentation. It’s a vibrant tune harkening back to “the good old days” and the innocence of youth on the cusp of adulthood -- the perfect soundtrack for a windows-down weekend drive through the countryside. 
Title track “Myna Bird” showcases Brasher’s introspective side, the country ballad’s title taken from the nickname his mother gave him as a child due to his ability to quickly memorize song lyrics from the radio (Brasher notes with a chuckle that she “probably meant mockingbird”). It’s also a gutting tribute to the late Wayne Mills, a legend of the honky tonk circuit, as well as a friend and a mentor to Brasher before his tragic passing. 
“He spent his whole life going out there and playing music. His original music was every bit the truth...it was so great,” Brasher recalls. “But he was running himself ragged getting to and from these bars, forced to play ‘Wagon Wheel’ and ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ over and over.” Therein lies the myna bird comparison -- both artists had their own music and message to take on the road, but they end up playing the same songs everyone’s already heard in order to keep themselves on the road -- a duality of working the honky tonk circuit. 
“If She Loves” also runs along the country ballad thread, a slow-burning number featuring sparse acoustic production that builds into a wall of sound led by wailing electric slide guitar. Originally intended as a love letter to Brasher’s longtime girlfriend, as it was written the song evolved into an anthem lifting up and celebrating the strength and perseverance of all women.
“Drugs in the Tip Jar” chronicles the stranger-than-fiction tale of Brasher’s early experiences playing for tips in Nashville’s honky tonks -- unexpectedly finding his tip jar filled with multiple types of contraband in lieu of cash at the end of a set. It’s a rollicking, stone-cold country song that would likely have worn out jukeboxes in years gone by.
Born and raised in Owensboro, Kentucky, music was a family affair for Brasher from an early age. After learning to play the acoustic guitar -- taught by his father and grandfather -- crafting songs became second nature for him. Brasher studied under the lyrically driven music of Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Bob Dylan, and Guy Clark, while also taking sonic cues from rock luminaries of the era such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin, and Queen. At the age of fourteen, Andy started his first band and began performing at parties, festivals, and bars in his hometown. Through his soulful interpretation of covers as well as his original works, he built a large and loyal local following that gave him the courage to relocate to Nashville and explore the music scene. Brasher refined his skills in the Music City’s renowned honky tonks and songwriting circles, gaining wisdom through valuable life lessons along the way.
In 2009, Brasher and fellow musician Dustin Bogue recorded an album of ten songs and formed the band Brasher/Bogue. While formed as a duet, Brasher/Bogue grew into a five-piece band that began their touring career on Kenny Chesney’s 2011 “Goin’ Coastal” tour. By 2012, Brasher/Bogue had produced three albums and were a staple of the festival circuit, as well as regularly supporting top national acts. 

Aug 9, 2019

Video Premiere / Ben Danaher / “Someone Else’s Lover”

Today we’ve got a video premiere from Texas singer/songwriter Ben Danaher. It’s a piano-driven heartbreaker just perfect for sipping bourbon and looking forward to cooler weather (maybe it’s just me, but autumn brings on my sad music mood). Besides the keys, there’s also a sweeping steel guitar to lay down just the right ambience. The video itself is simple and classy, with Ben seated at the piano in a dimly lit bar. Just perfect. RIYL: Rodney Crowell, Ben Folds (for this song anyway), Travis Meadows. 

From Ben: “I wrote this song with Raquel Cole.  She is so amazing with melodies and led the session by humming that melody.  I was in the middle of a break up and the girl I had dated went out with one of my friends.  A lot of mutual friends were there to see it go down.  I felt like a spectator in a really gut wrenching movie, which was especially weird when you have gotten to know that person for so long and to all of a sudden turn a corner and flip a switch to where whatever they are doing with whoever they want is none of your business.” 

More about Ben under the video!


Ben Danaher Upcoming Tour Dates
August 16 - Helotes, TX - John T. Floore Country Store (w/ Aaron Lewis)
August 17 - Austin, TX - The Saxon Pub
August 18 - The Woodlands, TX - The Big Barn - Dosey Doe 

BEN DANAHER
“You can hurt and still feel lucky,” Ben Danaher sings on the title track of his deeply personal debut album, ‘Still Feel Lucky.’ Coming from any other songwriter, it might sound like a simple platitude, but in Danaher’s hands, it’s something far more profound, a moment of true enlightenment in the face of unimaginable tragedy. Years of pain are wrapped up in his delivery, but still he commits to the hope and the beauty inherent in the darkness. It’s a monumental task, but one the Huffman, Texas native handles with a tenacious grace on an album that, despite being born in the fires of struggle and loss, manages to forge its own path toward peace, growth, and even joy.

That Danaher turned to music to make sense of a profoundly difficult time in his life comes as little surprise to anyone who knows him; songwriting and performing are something of a family tradition. Danaher’s father and both of his brothers played music, and there had always been instruments and recording gear around the house throughout his childhood. Songwriting was, in fact, in his blood.

“My father never had a record deal or anything, but up until the last week of his life, he was still writing music,” Danaher reflects. “When I was in high school, my brother Brett started playing guitar with Pat Green. They were on the rise and having big success in Texas, so I was watching them play for 3,000 people some nights, which was also really inspiring to me.”

Drawing on the influence of legendary troubadours like Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, and Townes Van Zandt, Danaher pursued his own path as a songwriter, first making a name for himself in Texas before relocating to Nashville in 2013. Along the way, he shared bills with Ray Wylie Hubbard, Jack Ingram, Angaleena Presley, Rhett Miller, Travis Meadows, and Amanda Shires, in addition to co-writing songs for Ryan Beaver, Bonnie Bishop, Rob Baird, and Justin Halpin among others. 

For his own songs, Danaher collaborated with some of Nashville fastest-rising stars, including Maren Morris, on material that blended classic country tradition with modern rock and roll sensibilities. His lyrics married hard-won wisdom and cinematic storytelling, capturing slices of life with a candid honesty that cut straight to the heart of things. Danaher quit drinking around that time, too, and began taking on extra bartending shifts to save up enough for recording sessions with producer Michael Webb, who encouraged him to bring his touring band into the studio with him.

“We got together at Mike’s house the first day and he set up a microphone in the middle of the room,” Danaher remembers. “We played the songs over and over until the grooves and arrangements all felt good, then we took those recordings home, and a week later, we came back and did it all over again until everything was totally locked in. By the time we actually headed into the studio, we had everything so tight that we cut the first seven songs in one day.”

It’s surprising to hear that an album that feels so well worn and lived-in was recorded in such a short time, but that’s part of Danaher’s magic. One spin through his debut, and it feels like you’ve known his music your whole life. That’s due in equal parts to his skillful way with memorable melodies and his gift for evocative storytelling, which conjures up vivid, fully formed characters hunting connection, the kind of men and women who might be down on their luck, but sure as heck aren’t giving up. On the soulful album opener “Hell Or Highwater,” a co-write with Morris, he mixes bluesy slide guitar and ferocious, soaring vocals in a bitter revenge fantasy, while the tender pedal steel-laden “Silver Screen” offers up a romantic ode to the last call crowd, and the slow-burning, bluesy “Jesus Can See You” calls out the hypocrisy of a particularly uncharitable Christian. “Judge and be judged isn’t that what it was that you told me alone in the dark?” he sings amid blistering fiddle and organ. “Jesus can see you breaking my heart.”

While Danaher’s character studies are riveting, it’s the moments when he turns his gaze inwards, like “My Father’s Blood,” that often hit the hardest.

“I always got told I was my father’s son or that I was just like my dad because I dreamed big,” Danaher says. “I took pride in it, and I know that he was proud of me because I was out there doing something he’d always wanted to do. I wouldn’t be living in Nashville or driving around the country in a van playing 100 shows a year if I wasn’t Bob Danaher’s son.”

It would be hard to overstate the importance of family in Danaher’s life, and the memory and influence of the loved ones he’s lost loom large throughout the album. 

“Seven years ago, my other brother Kelly was murdered,” Danaher explains. “He was having a birthday party for this three-year-old daughter, and their neighbor was upset that the noise was too loud. The neighbor got into an argument with my father-in-law, and when my brother came out to see what was going on, the neighbor pulled a gun.”

The gunman ended up shooting three people before being arrested by police, and Danaher received a shocking call later that night with the news that his brother had died from his injuries. 

“It took two years for the murder trial to come up, and meanwhile my dad was battling stage four cancer,” Danaher continues. “I was living in Nashville by that point, and two weeks before the trial began, I got the call saying my dad wasn’t doing so well, so I headed back to Texas. I got home and had about twelve hours with him before he passed away.”

While many of Danaher’s songs are drawn from wells of pain and loss, the music is anything but self-pitying. These are songs of revelation and redemption, reflecting a maturity and an acceptance that can only come with time and perspective. On “A Little While” and “Time Never Moves Slower,” he contemplates the impermanence of life, both in its highs and its lows, while “Getting Over Someone” reflects on the inner struggles we all face but often hide from the world, and “Over That Mountain” looks towards a day when he’ll be reunited with his brother in a better place. The album’s emotional centerpiece, though, has to be the driving title track, which stands out even on a record chock full of highlights. 

“You can go through hell and get completely hardened up, but there’s always going to be this human part of you that can still feel lucky and grateful for all the good that’s in your life,” Danaher concludes. “No matter how difficult things get, in the end, there’s always hope.”

That hope is ultimately at the root of why Danaher made the album. It was a therapeutic process for him, an opportunity to make sense of the inexplicable, but it was also a chance to respond to the universe with love and gratitude despite all he’s been through. 

“I’m very lucky that people want to hear my story,” he says. “If what I’ve been through can help people who listen to my music in any way, then I feel like I’ll have served my purpose in the world.”




Apr 18, 2019

Video Premiere / Nicholas Mudd / "Sit Right Here"

Photo by Shalon Goss


Today, we’re debuting the “Sit Right Here” video from Nicholas Mudd. The song is a driving barroom anthem with fiddle, steel, drinking, heartache, and hope. The video follows suit, making the best of a bad time. RIYL: Charley Crockett, Dwight Yoakam, Colter Wall, Margo Price, Paul Cauthen, Zephaniah Ohora

From Nick:
“We shot the video in my living room. I live in a house that was renovated in the 70s for the purpose of throwing swingers parties - The living room is actually a full bar like you’d find in a decent sized restaurant, with a rotisserie in the wall, a big stone hearth, and drop panel ceiling lights. And of course it’s got floor to ceiling dark wood paneling. So all I really had to do was get the cameras and lights and invite a bunch of friends over to party. Had a real good time.

The video was shot and edited by my friends Adri DeGirolami and Nick Ducassi. The musicians were Kenny Feinstein (pedal steel), Claire Oleson (fiddle), Jush Allen (drums), Michael Gomes (bass), and Steve Dannemiller (guitar).

The bartender was played by the uncommonly interesting Vejay Kesh, and “my buddy Eric” mentioned at the top of the song is played by my actual buddy Eric, who flew in from London to do the shoot. That good lookin’ redhead is my girlfriend Claire.”

More information about Nicholas and his self-titled album (out this past Friday!) below the video!


Nicholas Mudd // Nicholas Mudd (April 12)

When the road calls, you’ve gotta go. Neo-traditionalist Nicholas Mudd hopped on his Harley and hit the open highway, plotting a 10-day trip from Lexington, Kentucky to sunny Los Angeles; a 2011 pilgrimage west that would prove to be a pivotal turn in his musical journey. His upcoming self-titled album spins like a top between themes of heartache, romance, the thrill of the sea, and booze-soaked youthful sensations.

Criss-crossing state lines and camping out to save money, Mudd hatched a journey down to Memphis, then through to Texarkana and Denton just outside of Dallas, and then inched his way across New Mexico and Arizona before finally arriving in California. “Waiting on Me” is a free-spirited, twinkling dance-hall cut, in which the singer-songwriter yearns for his former life back East, all the while knowing he’ll never return to it. “Well, it’s been five years now / And I can’t help but wonder / If she would even know me, if I came back home,” he sings.

Opener “Come with Me Tonight” jingles and jangles in true neon-strewn, boot-scootin’ fashion, while “High Lonesome” breathes in the expansive scenery and woodlands rolling like thunder down and away from him. Over the span of these eight songs, produced and mastered by Eric Rennaker, Mudd runs the gamut as a country songsmith, contrasting heart-torn whimpers with canyon-sized caterwauling.

Growing up in Lexington, Kentucky, surrounded by horse country and lush farmland, Mudd found himself immersed in country, southern rock, and traditional folk music. It was evident from a young age that he had inherited his grandfather’s musical interests. Leonard Mudd, now 92, always had a collection of guitars, mandolins, fiddles, dulcimers, and banjos sprinkled around his home, and still manages to make music from time to time. 

Mudd’s exploration of music continued into high school when he formed The Blue Barrel Band, a cheeky nod to the fact they lacked an actual drum kit. “There was this giant blue plastic barrel in dad’s garage,” he recalls, “And we used it as a bass drum for our really bad folksy rock ‘n roll.”

Later, he took to Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University where he earned a degree in theatre, alongside another folksy music endeavor with some classmates. After graduating, he spent a few months back home before his cross-country trip to Los Angeles, where he took up an unpaid internship with a prominent casting director. The role soon led to a full assistant’s position, allowing him just enough of a financial foothold to get by in the City of Angels. 

Music took an unexpected back seat for several years as he began his film career. Ultimately, two key events in 2015 spurred him to return to the musical fray: His first weekend trip to Bandit Town USA and his discovery of the Grand Ole Echo (a celebrated weekly summer country show in Echo Park). Surrounded and inspired by these communities of like-minded musicians, artists, and urban outlaws, he picked up the old ax and got back to it.

In late 2017, Mudd stepped into Bedrock LA for his first proper studio recording session. A daunting task ahead of him, the Americana troubadour suited himself up for a record that faithfully adheres to the neo-traditionalist style of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. But he’s got a fire in his belly for gale-force songwriting and catchy melodies. His voice is ripe with emotion, from the teary waterfall of “Lady of the Night” to the ethereal bliss with closer “Sailing Song,” an almost post-apocalyptic fever dream. “I’ve seen mountains on the sea / I’ve seen fire in the sky / I’ve outrun southern gales / I’ve cheated death,” he sings, in whimsical swoons, as if gliding away on tides ripping out to sea.

Mudd lands somewhere amidst contemporaries like Joshua Hedley, Margo Price and Colter Wall. He’s never tied to convention, even when he leans so unapologetically into sturdy classic country structures. His voice, as much as his penmanship, stimulates the senses with the most universal human emotions spanning pain, loneliness and abject fear. Furthermore, his album rekindles the kind of raw storytelling for which the genre has long been desperate, and 2019 might be the year the industry finally pays attention.


Apr 4, 2019

Video Premiere / Jackie Greene / "Tupelo"

Today we’re debuting the new video for “Tupelo,” from Jackie Greene’s 2017 EP The Modern Lives Vol. 1. It’s also the lead track from his new Live From Town Hall album. The video features the animation of Bill Plympton, long known for his work on MTV’s Liquid Television, Kane West’s “Heard ‘em Say” video, and his own Oscar-nominated short, Your Face

“Tupelo” is a bluesy, ambling Americana tune with lots of soul. It starts simply with a bass and drums before adding piano, banjo, and Greene’s friendly vocals. This tale of regret about being drawn in by the siren song of Tupelo’s seedy side even strolls into spiritual territory (on the live version), venturing through “Wade in the Water” towards the end. Give it a listen and check out more information about Jackie and The Modern Lives Vol. 1 after the video. RIYL: Justin Townes Earle, The Band, The Black Crowes’ gentler moments. 

From Jackie: "It was such a joy to work on this project with Bill.  He’s a crazy genius and I love crazy geniuses.  This is a song that I originally wrote as a piano song, but it morphed into a banjo song.  How it got there is a tale for another time.  For now, enjoy the video!"



Jackie Greene - The Modern Lives Vol. 1


Hailed as "the Prince of Americana" by the New York Times, Jackie Greene has emerged as one of his generation’s most compelling songwriters and guitarists, the kind of rare and supremely versatile artist who blends virtuosity and emotional depth in equal measure. Greene’s latest release, 'The Modern Lives – Vol 1,' finds him relocated from the Bay Area to a Brooklyn basement, where he recorded every single instrument himself in addition to serving as his own engineer and producer. Gritty and rollicking, the songs are as exuberant as they are incisive, drawing inspiration from some of the great social paradoxes of our time: that the technology designed to simplify our lives can actually complicate them in ways we'd never imagined, that the most crowded cities can actually be the loneliest places to live, that the networks meant to connect us to can actually leave us feeling more isolated than ever before.

Greene's been chasing a sense of authentic human connection through art ever since his teenage years, when he began self-recording and releasing his own music in central California. After a critically acclaimed independent debut, he signed his first record deal and embarked on a lifetime of recording and touring that would see him supporting the likes of BB King, Mark Knopfler, Susan Tedeschi, and Taj Mahal, in addition to gracing festival stages from Bonnaroo to Outside Lands. The New York Times praised his "spiritual balladry," Bob Weir anointed him the "cowboy poet" of Americana and blues, and the San Francisco Chronicle raved that he has "a natural and intuitive connection with… just about any musical instrument."


While Greene's songwriting chops were more than enough to place him in a league of his own (NPR's World Café raved that his "sound seems at once achingly intimate, surprisingly energetic and unburdened by adherence to genre"), Greene also emerged as a singular singer and guitarist, prompting Rolling Stone to praise his "honeyed tenor" and name him among "the most notable guitarists from the next generation of six-string legends." Between studio albums and his own tours, Greene took up prestigious gigs playing with Phil Lesh & Friends, The Black Crowes, Levon Helm, and Trigger Hippy, his supergroup with Joan Osborne.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails